How to Enable Quick Edit Mode in the Command Prompt by Default

We saw how to use the mouse to copy Command Prompt text to the Windows Clipboard, by enabling the Quick Edit option in Command Prompt shortcut properties. What if you don’t use a desktop shortcut to open Command Prompt, and rather run cmd.exe directly? Here is a registry edit which enables Quick Edit option by default for Command Prompt. This works regardless of the methods you use to open the Command Prompt window.

This article was edited on Sep 24 2009 to include the method suggested by reader Mike (Thanks, Mike. I’ve clearly overlooked the GUI option.)

Enable Quick Edit by default in Command Prompt

Using the GUI

1. Open a Command Prompt window (cmd.exe)

2. Bring up the menu by clicking the top left corner (or press ALT + Spacebar)

3. Click Defaults

4. In the Options tab, place a checkmark near Quick Edit Mode

5. Click OK.



Using the Registry Editor

1. Launch Regedit.exe and navigate to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Console

2. Double-click QuickEdit and set its value data to 1

3. Exit the Registry Editor.

This has been tested in Windows XP, Windows Vista & Windows 7, and may work in other Windows Operating Systems as well.

Registry Fix

To automate the above steps, download quickedit.zip and run the enclosed REG file.

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in Windows — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP (2003-2012) who contributes to various Windows support forums.

2 thoughts on “How to Enable Quick Edit Mode in the Command Prompt by Default”

  1. I am writing a batch-script for users who will find QuickEdit highly helpful, but who cannot be counted on to set properties or edit the Registry.

    To complicate the matter, the script launches a number of CMD windows; they come up with default settings only and it would be impractical — to say the least — to go to the properties menu for each one.

    I could supply a shortcut/icon to run the script, and I could pre-configure it with the desired properties, but I have not found a way to make the newly-launched windows inherit those properties. Likewise when I run the script from a pre-configured CMD window, the properties are not inherited.

    My other alternative would be to include something — like a switch to CMD or START — that would set the QuickEdit option in the line of the batch-script, but so far I haven’t found a way to do that either.

    And, of course, using an alternative shell-language (BASH, CygWin or the like) is not an option.

    Any advice would be gratefully appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. I just took a closer look at Ramesh’s article. I don’t know why I hadn’t noticed this before; perhaps it was too subtle…

    I was accustomed to selecting the Properties option from either the CMD window or the shortcut icon for launching it. What Ramesh said — and I overlooked — was to select the DEFAULTS option from the CMD window menu.

    Yes, that changes the default for all subsequent CMD windows however they are launched, and without the dangerous microsurgery of using the Registry Editor.

    I’m still not sure whether I can get my users to accept the step of editing the Defaults, but it does have the advantage of only being required once, rather than being needed for every window in the batch, for every run of the script.

    I would still prefer to find a way to have the script make the setting, if that’s possible.

    Also, while I’m at it, to specify the Window Position (a different one for each window launched by the script, and not the ones the System chooses when it automatically positions the windows…). But maybe this is a question for another forum.

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